Are you a yoga practitioner or looking to be one? In this article, we will cover bird of paradise yoga benefits. It is one of the most beneficial and challenging poses that gives you the right balance, and flexibility, strengthens your whole body, and boosts energy.
Fun fact: this advantageous yet stimulating yoga pose is not named after a bird but an orange-petaled flower that only grows in South Africa. This pose resembles the shape of the flower. Your leg would be like a stem rooting for the opening that is your torso and another leg as the flower.
Its Sanskrit word is Svarga Dvijasana which means ‘Swarga’– heaven or paradise, and ‘Dvija’– two birth. It means that human being has to work twice as hard to be able to go to heaven.
Before discussing the bird of paradise, and yoga benefits, let’s see how to attain this position. If you directly try to do bird of paradise yoga(Svarga Dvijasana), it can prove to be quite scary, so we will try to break the pose in small stages.
But first, it is essential to perform some basic yoga poses. It would help if you did sun salutation (Surya namaskar) four to five times, warrior pose (virabhadrasana) by staying in position for 12 to 15 breathes, and wide-legged standing forward bend (Prasarita Padttanasana). These poses will serve as a warm-up for your torso, legs, and hips, which would reduce the stiffness and blockage, increasing your flexibility and achieving the proper bird of paradise yoga benefits.
This pose can be started from various other poses like extended side angle pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana) or tadasana. Still, the one I find most easy is first binding your leg with a side angle pose. Let’s see how we can do this step by step.
- Do a side-angle pose to bind your left leg. After you have successfully bound your leg by wrapping your right and left arm around your left thigh, try to look at your front foot by turning your gaze.
- Then make both your legs parallel to the front of the mat by stepping your back foot forward while keeping the bind intact. Getting the back foot forward can take a few tries, but what cant be done with practice? Right?
- After you have achieved, get your backward leg parallel to your front leg, which is bound, you will achieve a position where both your knees would be slightly bent.
- Now try to stand straight on your unbounded leg by lifting your bounded leg and shifting your weight on it. Achieving this position will also need practice, and it requires balance.
- Now comes the last step. After successfully standing on one leg without any problem, try straightening your lifted leg so that your left foot is in the air. This straightening is wholly dependent on your hip and hamstring’s flexibility, which will come with time, so don’t hustle or give up.
- Bring your gaze to your opposite shoulder away from the outstretched leg, and voila! You have achieved the paradise of birds pose.
This will need a lot of practice and patience, but it is worth the benefits.
1. Bird of Paradise Yoga Benefits:
Here are the benefits of this beautiful yoga pose.
1.1. Flow of Prana Throughout the Body:
Have you ever heard somebody say about the presence of prana or chakra in our bodies? Prana is the life energy that explains the existence of humans. Better the flow of prana better the body of the human.
There are several ways to stimulate the flow of prana in our body, yoga being one. Bird of Paradise yoga benefits is that the extension of the leg forces the torse to straighten.
This straightening makes your hips square, which ultimately leads to an easy flow of prana. It travels from the spine’s base to the whole body, making the spine fit and healthy without any blockages.
1.2. Improves Flexibility:
One of the Paradise yoga benefits is that it improves flexibility greatly. As we have already discussed above straightening of the leg is only possible with the flexibility of hips and hamstrings, which comes over time. Regular practice of this can make your body very flexible.
Contraction of lower back muscles and flexing of hips for stretching the leg clears the stiffness present there, making the person able to do other advanced poses. Flexibility is achieved through repetition, along with the awareness of the body.
1.3. Enhances Balance:
Flexibility being a prominent bird of paradise yoga benefits makes awareness of the body possible. One becomes aware of every part of their body, making oneself feel lighter and lighter with practice. And if you are feeling lighter, it becomes possible to achieve balance without any problem. Balancing can become as easy as breathing by connecting to it.
Achieving awareness and balance in your body can give you more efficient control over your body. Any stationary activity like a difficult yoga pose or moving activity like skiing or skating can become a piece of cake with improved balance.
1.4. Helps with Anxiety and Stress:
Balancing not just calms your body. It works wonders on your mind, too, increasing the list of the bird of paradise yoga benefits. If you can balance appropriately, you will automatically reach serenity within your mind because balancing is not possible without a stable mind. And a focused mind has no room for anxiety and stress. This way, you can achieve this out-worldly joy that has become impossible in this century.
1.5. Stretches muscles:
One other bird of paradise yoga benefits is that it stretches almost all the muscles of our body. From the stretch of the extended leg, which opens the hip adductors and the gluteus maximus to the leg, balancing the body stretches the claves’ muscles and finally, the stretch in the biceps and triceps of the arm holding the straightened leg.
Along with these, the core and abdominal muscles are also strengthened to get a proper balance. This stretching makes the muscles strong, and healthy and the range of motion around the joint also increases.
1.6. Improves Posture:
All the above bird of paradise yoga benefits makes improvement of posture possible. The focus and balance achieved and the flexibility and stretch of the muscles result in an incorrect posture. The straightening of the spine and square hips achieved due to this yoga pose will ultimately lead to the correction of any stoopy posture.
1.7. Active Heart:
Every physical activity is good for the heart and gets it pumping the same as this yoga pose. As we saw an earlier paradise bird, yoga benefits in strengthening the body’s muscles, including the heart, which is also a muscular organ.
The leg holding with interlocked hand and standing on one leg is only possible if the heart is efficiently and continuously providing blood to these organs. This also leads to an increase in red blood cells and the flow of oxygen. If you want to increase your body’s blood circulation, do not forget to check out these amazing ways.
1.8. Increases Lungs Capacity:
Pumping blood effectively is only possible if it is getting enough oxygen. To get sufficient oxygen, the lungs’ work increases, making increased capacity another bird of paradise yoga benefit. Continuous exhalation and inhalation relax and expand the diaphragm, respectively, increasing the lungs’ capacity to get more oxygen. This rapid expansion and contraction of the diaphragm make the uplifting of the leg in the air for a longer period of time due to ever going flow of oxygen.
While there are many birds of paradise yoga benefits, it should be done with a certain caution and things kept in mind.
- It takes only seconds to cause a serious injury if yoga is done without some warm-up. Forgetting it can do you more harm than good.
- If you are having difficulty achieving the bird of paradise pose, don’t lose hope just yet. Start with some similar poses that would work as the foundation for this final pose. Click here to get a list of such poses.
- If you suffer from some injury to your back, shoulder, legs, hips, or knees, try to avoid it as it can strain these parts.
- If you are pregnant, do not do this pose as it pressures the abdominal muscles, bringing discomfort to the fetus and the mother.
- We have seen breathing and active circulation of blood is required to do this pose. So if one is suffering from high blood pressure should avoid this pose.
- You should also revert if you feel pain in your inner thighs or upper arm. This pain could be because of muscle or nerve tweak as these parts are stretched.
- We have discussed above that this yoga pose requires a great balance to remain stable. If you cannot achieve this stability at first, you can always use some object, a wall, or a partner for support.
Remember, it’s essential to practice yoga under the guidance of a qualified instructor, especially when attempting advanced poses like Bird of Paradise, to ensure proper alignment and prevent injuries.
Now you know all about the bird of paradise yoga benefits and how to achieve them. You can easily add it to your daily yoga to achieve strength and flexibility. It may take a few tries, but it is equally worthy, so happy yoga!
1. Is Bird of Paradise suitable for beginners?
Bird of Paradise is considered an advanced yoga pose that requires a certain level of strength, flexibility, and balance. It is recommended to have a solid foundation in yoga and some experience with standing balance before attempting this pose. Beginners may benefit from working on building strength and flexibility in the legs, hips, and shoulders through preparatory poses before attempting Bird of Paradise.
2. What are some preparatory poses for Bird of Paradise?
Preparatory poses can help build the necessary strength and flexibility for Bird of Paradise. Some poses that can be beneficial include standing balances like Tree Pose (Vrksasana) and Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III), hip-opening poses like Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana), and hamstring stretches like Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana).
3. What are common mistakes to avoid in the Bird of Paradise pose?
Some common mistakes in the Bird of Paradise pose include rounding the back, collapsing the chest, or straining the shoulders. It’s important to maintain an upright and elongated spine, engage the core, and keep the shoulders relaxed and away from the ears. Additionally, be mindful of pushing too hard or forcing the pose before you’re ready, as it can lead to injury. Practice patience and listen to your body’s limits.
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